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bigduckontax
bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4091
Experience:  FCCA FCMA CGMA ACIS
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I have been disabled now on benefit of disabillty living

Customer Question

i have been disabled now for 16years on benefit of disabillty living allowence i have been informed that a number of items i have purchased that i did not have to pay vat as long as they help me make my life bearable and easier to live i would like a vat rebate from ebay and amazon where i purchased quite a sum of stuff making my life bearable is as a laptop with this i can shop online get medical prescriptions no end of things i could not do. i have both these huge firm who i regret to say are not to helpfull. So all i can do is ask your advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I am Keith one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

Here is the list from the Gov UK web site of the products upon which you should not be paying VAT:

'Qualifying products or services

Your supplier can tell you, but usually products designed or adapted for a disability qualify. For example, certain types of:

  • adjustable beds
  • stair lifts
  • wheelchairs
  • medical appliances to help with severe injuries
  • alarms
  • braille paper or low vision aids - but not spectacles or contact lenses
  • motor vehicles - or the leasing of a motability vehicle
  • building work like ramps, widening doors, installing a lift or toilet'

The full advice is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/financial-help-disabled/vat-relief

It would appear from the Govt web site that you have to apply for this VAT exemption before you actually order the goods.

So what to do, well I would suggest kick up a fuss both with the supplier, your local trading standards, your MP, local councilor, your local paper, your local radio station and even the national press not to mention Facebook, twitter etc. Big firms like Amazon do not like this sort of adverse publicity, it is not good for their reputation or business. They may try a mealy mouthed approach that you should have advised them initially of your disability viz a viz VAT, but they may crumble in the long term.

So stir the mud unmercifully would be my approach. I myself have been disabled for some 20 years, but the only purchase I have fortunately had to make many years ago was a folding walking stick for air travel and I now ask for a wheel chair at interchanges and destination which by passes all the queues as you are passed through in advance of even aircrew!

Time to do a Victor Meldrew!

I do hope that I have shown you a way forward in your situation.